A Public and Treatment liability Insurance Guide For Tattooists, Beauticians and Piercers


Tattoo artists face more insurance risks than many businesses. As well as loss or damage to your equipment and the liability to the public when they call into your salon or you visit them, you may also injure your clients when you are providing treatments or they may contract an infection later.

A quick check list of things to insure

  • Public Liability

    • Make sure you have public liability cover for visitors to your salon and to cover you while you are out and about.
  • Treatment Liability

    • This is one of the most important covers for your profession. This insurance covers the treatments that you provided and we strongly recommend that you always have this cover included with your policy. Keep reading for more information about this.
  • Employers Liability

    • If you employ any staff you will require employer’s liability by law. Remember, a limited company employees you even if you are a director. In most cases even if you don’t have any direct staff but you “rent out a chair”, you will legally need employers liability insurance.
  • Contents cover

    • If you want to cover your equipment and tools, add up their new cost and let us know what this is.
  • Tenants improvements

    • If you are a tenant, do you have a responsibility for anything your landlord has provided or for the shop front (including the glass)? Did you do anything to your salon when you moved in? This could be decorating, building a counter, sign writing on the glass or installation of more cables. If so, add tenants improvements because if this was damaged in a fire your landlord probably wont be replacing it.
  • Do you own the building?

    • If so, you will need buildings insurance.
  • Personal Accident and Illness

    • Don’t forget yourself! If you have an accident or fall ill, you may be earning no (or less) money. A personal accident and sickness policy is a simple solution, although a financial adviser can advise upon a wider range of solutions.

Public Liability insurance

A common misunderstanding of Public Liability Insurance is that it covers the what (or who) you are working on as standard, it doesn’t! If you accidentally injure a client whilst you are providing a treatment, or your client contracts an infection, your Public Liability insurers may not pay a claim. Alternatively you may have undertaken your work correctly but your client failed to follow your advice in caring for their treatment. They may then make a complaint and demand financial compensation.

Defence costs

Although many complaints are unjustified, the cost to defend against them can be considerable. You should bear in mind that hiring a solicitor is likely to cost £150 per hour or more! Your initial consultation plus response to your unhappy customer is likely to cost far more than the average 12 month insurance policy.

Additionally if you have made a mistake, there may be compensation to pay. If you run a limited company, as you are a professional you can be pursued personally, so liquidation of the business is not an option.

Your situation is not unique however. Hairdressers, masseurs, tanning salons and other professionals that provide beauty or aesthetic treatments all require the same type of insurance. This insurance is called called “Treatment Risks” or “Treatment Liability”.

A responsible business makes sure they have all of the relevant insurance policies in place as soon as their business starts. They also make sure they are all renewed when they are due. The main insurance policies that require by law will be motor insurance for your vehicles and employer’s liability insurance if you have any staff. You may be surprised to learn that if you are the owner of a limited company, but are not the sole worker (your partner may help you with paperwork for example), then you will require employer’s liability for yourself. This also extends to when you “rent a chair”, in most cases you would still legally need employers liability insurance. If you would like more information about this, head to the government website https://www.gov.uk/employers-liability-insurance.

Ray Colenutt Dip CII
Ray Colenutt Dip CIIManaging Director

The writer of this article, Ray Colenutt Dip CII, has over 30 years of arranging insurance in the construction industry. Ray is also the managing director of Versatile Insurance Professionals Ltd.

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